Jessica Drenk was raised in Montana, where she developed an appreciation for the natural world that remains an important inspiration to her artwork today. Tactile and textural, the sculptures highlight the chaos and beauty that can be found in simple materials. Drenk's work is also influenced by systems of information and the impulse to develop an encyclopedic understanding of the world.

Her work is a response to, and experimentation with, materials with a deep inspiration that comes from nature. Jessica is constantly amazed by the diversity and beauty of the forms and patterns in nature.

People often think of our immediate surroundings as being “man-made”, but man-made materials still behave according to the same principles as the natural world - they come from nature. Because nature is based on patterns and principles of organisation, Jessica Drenk looks for man-made materials that might be manipulated according to similar patterns and principles. In her response to these materials - learning how they behave under different circumstances and combinations, discovering how to re-order and pattern them, intuitively pursuing new forms and pushing materials beyond how she would normally think of them. In other terms, Jessica is constantly connected with the physical properties of the world, as well as the nature of her own mind.

Drenk explains her concept: “By transforming familiar objects into nature-inspired forms and patterns, I examine how we classify the world around us. Manufactured goods appear as natural objects, something functional becomes something decorative, a simple material is made complex, and the commonplace becomes unique.”

The Erosion series began with experiments in cutting and sanding PVC pipes for a single piece. The simple tube shaped pipes quickly became fascinating material to work with, as she explored how the variously-gouged pipes created shadow and reflected light.

The Erosions are set in a matrix resembling honeycomb or insect-hollowed logs. Drenk brings the carefully crafted pencil back to the earth by considering its composition as a set of natural materials manipulated by humans.


Project: Erosions

Location: Clemson, USA

Artist: Jessica Drenk, Clemson, USA

Technical info: PVC Tubes

Picture credits: Jessica Drenk